How to become a General Practitioner (GP)

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How to become a General Practitioner (GP)

What do they do?

GP’s are specialist, community based Doctors trained to care for people of all ages, all walks of life, and with all types of medical issues and concerns.

They focus on the health of the whole person combining preventative, physical, psychological and social aspects of care.

If you’re a people person with lots of empathy and patience, that thrives on variety but handles hum-drum too, then a career as a GP could be perfect for you.



  • Conducting examinations of patients and questioning them about their health status to make diagnosis
  • Ordering lab tests, X-rays and other medical diagnostic procedures where necessary
  • prescribe relevant medication
  • Administering simple medical treatments/procedures such as immunisations, skin cancer removals & applying stitches
  • Monitoring patients
  • Providing general health advice to patients on diet, nutrition, exercise and other lifestyle habits to prevent or recover from illness
  • Referring patients to other healthcare professionals
  • Arranging admission of patients into hospital
  • Recording and organising patient records
  • Training and supervising medical students/trainee doctors
  • Keeping up to date with the latest medical treatments and medications relevant to general practice/primary healthcare
  • Reporting births, deaths and notifiable diseases to government authorities


Skills required:

  • great interpersonal and communication skills (good “bedside manner”)
  • critical thinking and problem solving
  • ability to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team or independently
  • open-minded and non-judgemental
  • dedicated
  • interest in continued learning
  • good at decision making
  • organised



GPs have 10-15 years of formal education and training before they can practise independently as a GP.

  • Step 1 – Successfully complete a medical degree at an accredited Australian/NZ medical school (5-7 years)
  • Step 2 – Complete a postgraduate internship at an accredited Australian/NZ hospital (1 year)
  • Step 3 – Complete vocational training, which includes a 1 year hospital residency through either of the following programs;

FRACGP Fellowship (3 years)

FACRRM Fellowship (4 years)

  • Step 4 – Complete all relevant exams and register as Specialist General Practitioner with AHPRA
  • Step 5 – fully qualify as a GP + apply for jobs


Average salary:

$127,634 (Source: payscale.com)

$96,200 (Source: joboutlook.gov.au)

You might also like to look at this GP earnings calculator for a more accurate estimation of what your salary as GP might look like.


Future growth: strong (source: Joboutlook.gov.au)

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